Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

10 Ways to Make Money BECAUSE of Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 30th of August 2008 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

What if I told you that there’s a way to make money as a result of your blog where you don’t need to have a single ad on your blog, where you don’t have to run any affiliate programs and where you don’t have to write any paid reviews?

Would you be interested?

Make-Money-Because-Of-Your-BlogImage by iDream_in_Infrared

Much is written about how bloggers make money through selling advertising space or running affiliate programs on their blogs. However there’s a second, somewhat hidden, group of bloggers who make a great living not directly from their blogs – but indirectly as a result of them.

Instead of using their traffic to sell advertising or promote products to earn commissions from – they leverage the traffic to their blog in another way – usually to sell themselves.

Today I want to highlight 10 ways of making money BECAUSE of your blog – as opposed to making money directly from it via advertising, paid reviews or affiliate programs.

1. Consulting

The blogger consultant model is simple. You give away information generously on your given topic and then sell your services to help people apply your teaching to their personal situation with some personal attention from you.

Bloggers who also act as consultants generally charge for their time by the hour, but I’ve also come across some who have landed ongoing consulting work in their field of expertise and have been signed up on retainer by companies.

Some might think that it’s just bloggers who blog about blogging who pick up consulting work (I’ve done my fair share) but it’s not the case. I’ve met dating bloggers, marketing bloggers, photography bloggers, craft bloggers and more who all offer their services in coaching, mentoring and training their readers one on one.

2. Book Authorship

It is becoming more and more common for bloggers to be approached by book publishers to write books. Chris and I were approached to write ProBlogger the Book by Wiley, Gina from Lifehacker landed a 2 book deal, Frank from Post Secret has done numerous books, Steve Pavlina has one coming out soon…. the list goes on and on. Sometimes book are heavily based upon the blog itself – other times the book is completely new.

3. Speaking

Bloggers spend day in and day out writing content for their blogs and so for many it is not too much of a stretch to translate the principles that they are writing about into verbal sessions at conferences or other public speaking opportunities.

Often these sorts of speaking engagements are not for any kind of payment but once you build your profile in a niche the paid opportunities do come along for many – particularly when you’re asked to speak in-house for companies or organizations.

4. Training

There’s some overlap here with ‘speaking’ as in many instances speakers are engaged in a training capacity – but some bloggers also take the ‘training’ that they do in another direction and run their own training courses for readers. They leverage the traffic that they have do direct people to training either online (membership sites) or even offline into real life training events.

One blogger who I’ve seen do this really well is David Hobby from Strobist who has successfully run a variety of real life training events on his niche (photography lighting). He’s also done spin off DVDs of the training which he sells.

5. Freelance Writing

I’ve had many approaches for this myself and see quite a few other bloggers land this type of work. Their profile and expertise on a blog leads other websites, blogs, magazines, newspapers etc to ask them to contribute in a paid capacity.

This might be a newspaper column, a regular staff writer role or even a one off paid contribution.

6. Selling Services

Once you establish a readership on a topic other opportunities can arise to sell a variety of services from your blog. Here at ProBlogger I added a job board (something many blogs have done), Blogger Timothy Sykes makes tens of thousands a month with an ‘stock market alerts’ service, Shoemoney is introducing ‘Shoemoney Tools‘ (a great resource for bloggers actually – I’ve been playing with it the last few days).

Another example is Kevin from Real Lawyers have blogs who offers lawyers and law firms a blogging solution.

7. Selling E-Resources

Again – there’s some cross over here with some of the above but it’s something that we’ve seen a lot of bloggers doing (or attempting to do) of late with the creation of ebooks, membership sites, tools and software that relate to their niche.

8. Landing ‘Real’ Jobs

One of the great things about starting a blog that builds your profile and perceived expertise in an industry is that others in that industry begin to see you as an attractive addition to their staff.

I’ve seen a number of bloggers write about this over the years – Steve Rubel is one that comes to mind as someone who became very well known in the PR industry and was head hunted by a PR firm as a result of his blogging.

9. Finding Business Customers and Clients

Another indirect income earner that many bloggers tap into is leveraging their blog’s profile to send find new clients and send new business to their offline companies.

In a sense their blog becomes like an advertisement to their company’s products and services.

There are literally thousands of ‘business blogs’ who do this. The key is not to make the blog purely a sales pitch or marketing device but to make it a destination of value to readers and to let this sell you and your business.

What’s Number 10?

Every week I ‘meet’ (virtually) bloggers who are making money from their blogs in ways that I’d never considered before. There are certainly some creative people out there coming up with some innovative ways to build blogs into income streams.

So I’m leaving #10 in this list up to you. What other ‘indirect’ ways of making money from blogs do you do or see others doing? I’d love to see examples of any of the methods above or any other that I might have missed. Can’t wait to read your number 10s!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Thank you very much for your post. This is a nice posting. I really like this post and absolutely very usefull to me. Thank you.

  2. Wow…I’d love a book deal!

    Number 10#

    I’d like it if a movie producer who randomly stumbles upon my blog realises how wonderfully talented and articulate my dear little cats are…and so decides to feature them in the next Milo and Otis style film…And hence being their owner and trainer I accompany them down the red carpet at their film debut

  3. Awesome post write up Darren. Book publishing is one of the things that I am looking into right now, so might send you an email or two to ask some questions.

  4. This is the route I’m going rather than indirect revenue – and I’m curious something about the ebook/membership site option:

    How many people who sell information in the form of membership sites/training have Errors and Omissions insurance?

  5. waw…good for us, its informative. Good job.

  6. Thanks Darren, this post just shows there is more ways to make money on a blog aside from ads.

  7. i wanna say something. if you write for only money you will lost the competetion. you should love your work.


  8. Great article, many people [myself included] focus thoughts entirely on making money through the typical avenues.

  9. I started a blog to provide a Black woman’s perspective on the sport of ice hockey but the blog has evolved into a major source of information on the local team and the sport including interviews with the majority owner, a NHL wife, and sport agents. I was recently added to the team’s media list.

    How do I expose this blog that has been described as an intelligent and thought-provoking blog to be given the opportunities or to be invited to freelance, to write a book, or to hired for a sportswriter position?

  10. This was an excellent post and is what I am focusing on right now. Not just money though, but also personal satisfaction om my work.

    I’m a recent law graduate, and focusing on using my own blog to gain entrance into the specific legal field I want to. Law has one of the highest rates of work dissatisfaction of any profession, and so it is very important I get focused on doing the work I want to do. However, if I was just to apply to any old law job out of uni, I would likely just get stuck in an area that wouldn’t excite me, and just burn out. Through my blog, I’m trying to build up my profile and expertise, so I have more bargaining power when it comes to working in the legal field I want to work in.

    However, one thing I think still holds very true for this type of blog is that even though you are not making money directly from it, it is still important to treat it as professionally as a blog that is making direct money. I have just realised this myself, and whilst it started as a bit of a part-time hobby to promote myself maybe posting only a few articles a month, now I am trying to refine it and move it more into being a professional blog with featured content and daily posts.

    So lately I have been working on a future content plan for my ‘indirect income’ blog and moving to treat it as very much a personal business that I can see operating and growing over many years.

    As to number 10 – in the future after 10 years of building a brand I might even be able to start up my own legal firm based on my brand and expertise. That’s the long-term goal for my blog.

  11. Very nice post Darren.

    I have not found a post similar to this so far. Maybe this is the first. I love the ideas. Sometimes I thought blogging is limited to advertising. I didn’t know there are so many opportunities.


  12. What? Did I miss something here or did you miss advertising? i haven’t made more than thirty bucks on advertising on my blog but I thought everyone else was making lots of money with advertising. Apparently not.

  13. Excellent list – definitely expands my view of ways to make money from a blog.

    One other (a number 10, though not mine – yet): I know that travel writers are able to get sponsored reviews of cities – they are able to contact a city they want to visit and pitch the idea of writing articles about the city. Using a blog to launch this kind of thing seems logical, and I would guess, already in practice by travel bloggers.

  14. Fantastic reminder to take what you’re already doing and discover ways to repurpose and multi-purpose those actions to achieve other objectives.

  15. I make money from my blog by selling real product…

  16. Mike Phillips says: 08/31/2008 at 1:57 am

    Koichi that is very nice! And a great blog you have. However I dug into you edufire site and also founf http://www.myngle.com and http://www.studentteacherexchange.com which posted on my blog. Now I am making money of that as well. Thanks! The last one I just signed up to since it doesn’t take a cut but it’s kinda new and empty so far…

    I have yet to make a dime from my blog. I added google ads but noone is clicking on them. Traffic is low as well but I have no idea on how to get more traffic. Any ideas guys?

  17. Wow, you just described what I do :)

  18. I started consulting long before I had a blog, but my blogs have absolutely led to growth of my business. I’ve been featured in articles. I did a radio pilot. I’ve been asked to write articles for publication. I’ve been offered jobs (which I turn down, due to the success of my businesses). I’ve sold e-resources, as you call them. And, most importantly, I’ve generated far more leads than ever before.

  19. wow,this article is sincerely an eye opening into what people never considered for once.
    i love your research techniques.
    keep it up!

  20. Interesting list. I never considered my blog would make any money. I have no ads on it and it’s just something I do for myself – but I have been approached through it to write in print media so it’s all been a bit of a shock – and just goes to show that you don’t have to have a big or massively commercial blog (I have currently 20 rss subscribers and am lucky if I get 100 views a day!) to make money!

  21. When you start to think of a blog as a means of introducing your readers to other services you offer rather than as a tool for making money through ads or affiliate links on your blog itself, the goal posts completely shift.

    If you want to make money through advertising, your aim is to bring as many people as possible to your site – quantity of traffic is incredibly important.

    But if you use your blog to expose the other things you can do, it’s more a question of the quality of your traffic – and low visitor numbers can still bring good results.

    Darren’s put together a brilliant list of the ways web publishers can use a blog to attract new customers/employers, and I would merely add that an important part of that process – as Yaro Starak has illustrated very effectively recently – is building an opt-in email list so that you have permission to write to your most interested readers with more information about what you have to offer.

  22. Fascinating.

    Observation: Aside from blogs that bring in some decent beer money, I run a static website, as does a friend of mine that is product specific. No updates, just casual visitation rates that bring in a fair amount of income.

    Everything else is, like I said, beer money.

    I’m using my blogs to develop a portfolio for jumping off into possibly a new career direction and some of the ideas posted by Darren seem almost daunting to contemplate that little ‘ol me could possibly be looked at as an expert, but I suspect that would come from time, experience and confidence.

    I need to go get another beer right now!

  23. Make money through people donating to you.

  24. We do referrals. If someone is interested in a service that we do not currently provide, we partner with a reputable business to get a referral fee if they are able to do business with one of our website visitors. We get as much as $2,000 per referral.

  25. What a refreshing article! I am new to the blogging space but do it for my personal gratification – I see my blog as my speakers corner – so to speak. It’s absolutely fantastic to see that people are finding a way to generate income from creating/generating their own content.. Looking forward to the growth that lies ahead.

  26. I like #4 and #5 :)

  27. I am glad to see this on your blog Darren, as this is exactly my business model and that of many other coaches. My blog has probably generated more clients and business than any other single marketing piece – though I do admit many of my marketing efforts are designed to attract people to my blog. Great post.

  28. Just as over the last decade we have seen a huge increase in ‘celebrity chefs’ – cooks getting out of the kitchen and on to TV, I think there will come a time when TV stations are looking to blogging personalities to become part of their TV programs. Especially in blogging niches like fashion and travel.
    So perhaps ‘TV appearances’ could become No. 10?

  29. Strangely enough, this just happened to me last week. A local photographer and graphic designer is looking to start a new company and wanted someone able to write well, and more importantly, able to put up a web site. He contacted me through my site. When we met at our local cafe this morning, he offered me a job.

    It’s a prime example of putting out the best content in the best way possible, and good things happen.

  30. Great post, Darren! Indeed there are many ways that you can make money as a blogger,but you need to be a hard worker and a good and fast writer. And also a fast learner because you have to stay up to date, Traffic is the main key and there are a lot of methods out there to get that precious targeted traffic, Internet is wild and change so rapidly web 2.0 will become web 3.0 very soon. I made a living out of Blogging since a year and half now with almost 10 blogs. It’s hard work but I work at home and when I want!
    By the way thanks Darren you’ve been an inspiration when I started reading problogger one year and half ago.

    My Making Money Blog Last Post:
    earn money surveys online

  31. Hi Darren,
    Interesting post as usual. I’m from Malaysia and very new to blogging. Like what you have done with your photography blog, I started out my gadgets blog which is my passion. And yes, I do intend to make money out of it. If I’m lucky and good enough (as you?) I intend to make this my full time job.

    To make a a long story short, I thoroughly enjoy all your posts and have tried to implement all your techniques (post titles, formatting, colors, timing of posts etc etc). I must say that it has definitely helped me build a better blog. Thanks Darren! And oh yeah, I got your book too :)

  32. good advice…I think by implemented 2 methode above regularly and consisten will have great result…..thanks

  33. this is an excellent post , thanks a lot , I’m grateful to you .

  34. These are some great ways to market yourself. The key that ties these all together is that you are creating something of value and you are seen as the local expert on that topic. This is such a great resource to think about additional ways for income.

  35. I am new in Blogging. And this post in inspiring for me that blogging can earn some bucks for me.That’s really great.
    I am not a good writer but just want to collect some good things for my community.

    Do you think, a Person who is not always writing original contents can still earn?

  36. It seems more advertising programs are coming out all the time. The money possibilities seem endless now.

  37. It seems more advertising programs are coming out all the time. The money possibilities seem endless now.

  38. I am running a very small but interesting Internet marketing business. I used your post as a helping hand for my written assignment on Internet marketing.

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…